When we are stressed out by our kids’ busy-ness, how do we respond?
My youngest has recently reached an apex of busy-ness I never thought possible from such a small person. The term “relentless” is probably his most readily identified descriptor.
And for the sake of maintaining my sanity, I have definitely been in the camp of trying to keep my own children busy long enough to let me hear my own thoughts from time to time.
With our students, it can become a strong temptation to do something similar — particularly when we are trying to work with small groups.
Norah Colvin’s recent post had me thinking more about this notion. She writes:
“What about a busy toddler? Toddlers are some of the busiest people I know. And they are generally quite joyous in their busyness, demonstrating the true meaning of being in the present moment. For me, being busy is a joy when the activities are of my choice and for my purposes. I have no need to find things to keep me busy. There is more I wish to do than I will ever have time to complete. I resent tasks that keep me busy and away from what I’d rather be doing.”
No matter how much our kids grow, we can help them uncover the busy-ness that will spark that joy within. But not when it’s overly contrived and designed around our agenda — it seems that for whatever reason, even the most engaging endeavors become less so when kids sense there’s an end-game for distraction for grown-ups’ benefit.
For our classrooms full of vastly different, busy students, this means to providing authentic choice. It means teaching them to regulate their own time and interests. It means facilitating the very best kinds of busy.
And for my house that seems to be bursting at the seams with a busy 1 year-old, it means finding ways to just let go and enjoy this crazy ride together.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto
2 Replies to “Keep ‘Em Busy or Facilitate the Best Busy-ness #TeacherMom”
Hi Mary, I’m so pleased that the post resonated with you, both as parent and teacher. Relentless is a great word to describe the busyness of toddlers; and you expressed exactly my concerns for busy work in the classroom. Thank you very much for reiterating and sharing. I hope you do find some time for your own thoughts. It is difficult to achieve with a little one, but just letting go and enjoying the crazy ride isn’t so bad either.
Thanks, Norah! As long as he keeps up his regular naps, I think I’ll be able to preserve my sanity AND enjoy the ride! 🙂